Dealing with Stress
Everyone knows being a parent is hard work. Throw in school, friends, and trying to be a teenager at the same time and it can get pretty stressful. The important thing is to take care of yourself if you start to get stressed out and don't take your feelings out on your child.
- Give yourself a time out. If your child is an infant or toddler, put him in a safe place first, the go to another room for a few minutes.
- Count to ten. It really does help to stop and just count to ten.
- Lie on the couch, put your feet up and place a cool cloth on your eyes or forehead. Take a couple of deep breaths and think of a peaceful scene. Lie there for at least five minutes.
- Call someone who understands what you’re going through. Tell what’s bothering you and get the support you need.
- If your children take naps, use that quiet time to pamper yourself. Take a bubble bath, read a book or listen to soothing music with your eyes closed.
- Change your daily routine. Take a walk, visit a friend, or watch a special program on television.
- Do something physical. Physical activity is good for you and your children. It lets off steam, and often it’s free.
Know when to ask for help
These tension relievers may not be enough. Even when you work hard to control yourself, you might feel like you can’t stand it any more. That doesn't mean you're a bad parent, it just means you might need a little extra help.
If you can answer, "Yes" to any of these questions, you might want to ask for some outside help.
- Do you think you take your stress out on your kids?
- Do you feel out of control more than you like?
- Do you feel overwhelmed and see no way out of problem situations?
- Do you hit or yell at your children when you're angry with them?
- Do you feel like your children are bad on purpose?
- Are you upset because your children don’t listen to you?
- Do you feel like you "pick on" a just one of your children?
- Do you feel that your children hardly ever do what youwant them to?
- Do you feel like you can’t talk to your kids?
It’s not always easy to reach out for help, but when you do you’ll find many caring people who want to hear from you, people who will listen and provide assistance. Find some local resources.